Cartoon Network’s Dexter’s Laboratory Is Riddled With Sam Raimi References – SlashFilm


It’s easy to see why this sequence got stuck in Tartakovsky’s head. It doesn’t have dialogue except for Ash’s “groovy” at the very end, but still manages to tell a clear story through its visuals. Raimi shows a clear sense of iconography, using his staple erratic zooms to make each ingredient and step of the robot hand feel monumental, from a screw being turned to a hammer being grabbed. It’s got rhythm, it’s got stakes, it’s memorable. It is this style that Tartakovsky used time and time again in “Dexter’s Laboratory,” and not just in scenes where Dexter built stuff — although the “Hamhocks and Armlocks” segment where Dexter constructs a robot hand for his dad so he can arm wrestle a bully at a diner does feel quite reminiscent of “Army of Darkness” — but even in scenes like the ninja paper route race.

Of course, Sam Raimi movies aren’t the only movies that “Dexter’s Laboratory” references. There’s an entire episode that parodies “Die Hard,” with Dexter having to fight a janitor who traps him at school as revenge for making him work late every day (because Dexter always leaves last). That’s on top of the many references to anime like “Voltron” and “Speed Racer.”

Now, Tartakovsky’s newest challenge is delivering an R-rated animated comedy about a dog getting “fixed.” If the footage shown at Annecy last year is anything to go by, we’re in for yet another Tartakovsky winner.

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